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Blogging By the Sea
Tuesday, August 19 2014
Beginnings and endings...


Life is full of days that mark new beginnings. The very first new beginning no one ever sees and only a few actually suspect, when a tiny swimmer finds it’s way to a newly released egg and a new soul begins the journey toward life. The day of our birth is far more celebrated, a day of shocking new reality for the infant just thrust into the world, a day of tears and celebration for the family welcoming it into their midst. And that’s just the start. There will be so many firsts to follow. First step, first word, the first time a child realizes he can say no – the beginning of independence.

Some new beginnings, like that moment of conception, are quiet and hardly noticed. Sometimes it’s a choice we make that at the time seems almost inconsequential, yet on later reflection we realize took us in an entirely new direction. Perhaps instead of going to your regular coffee shop you went to the one around the corner and met the person who would turn out to be your soul mate. Maybe you stopped to help someone out and ended up five minutes late for an interview and didn’t get the job you thought you wanted, but the following week, you landed the job you were meant to have.

Other beginnings are flashier – accompanied by serious fanfare. New Year’s Day, preceded by New Years Eve and often marked by resolutions that you might or might not keep and a big family dinner mark the beginning of each new calendar year. Birthday cakes loaded with flaming candles presented while family and friends sing the birthday song in appalling harmony mark another year of life.  White dresses, churches decked with flowers and elaborate receptions to follow mark the beginning of two lives twined into one.


But there’s another new beginning we all experience every year as summer draws to an end and another school year begins. Summer has always been my favorite season, one I never wanted to end. As a child it meant freedom from school and what felt like an endless landscape of days I could fill any way I pleased. But it also brought warm weather and glorious sunshine and warmth with swimming and sailing.

Then, far more abruptly than I was ever prepared for came the night I had to dig out a blanket. Even in the midst of summer’s most bountiful lushness, red leaves would begin to appear on the trees. Just a few at first, then more. And I knew the end of summer was on its way and fall was just around the corner.


Here in the northern hemisphere, fall is also the beginning of a new school year. Even before we pack away the summer toys, close up the camps, and tie tarpaulins over the boats we’re looking forward to school. Lists of supplies arrive for grade school kids, moms dig out school uniforms only to find their kids have grown over the last two months and will need new ones. Everyone is shopping for school.


For some students, it’s off to college – another life-changing first for both student and parent. Another huge new beginning – the start of life as an adult for the student, the end of an era for the parents who are letting go of the child they’ve nurtured so carefully for eighteen years. It’s an inevitable change in the relationship that everyone knew was coming and some aren’t really ready to accept.

My children are all grown with families of their own, I’m retired, and it’s now my grandchildren who are going off to college, but even so the first red leaves on the trees and the first time I see the big yellow bus lumbering its way along the street, there’s a feeling of nostalgia for the summer that is ending. I just had a fantastic week at the lake filled with family and fun, but now it’s back to work on a book that has a deadline later this fall. In a few days, I’ll start getting texts from my children with pictures of my grandchildren going off to school with big smiles and new backpacks. It will be a time for picking apples and the start of football season.


Summer is ending  -- Another new beginning. 


Posted by: Skye AT 11:02 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Skye, This blog is so appropriate for this time of year. Yesterday on my facebook, there were photos of children whose parents are family or friends. It was the first day of school. I remember this as a kid, when my mom would take us to Ben Franklins, which was a five and dime store, and we would buy our school books. This was before books were free. I loved the smell of the new books. Then we would make books covers for all our books to keep them new. I loved that first week of school. Great Blog! Great reminders.
Posted by Vickie on 08/19/2014 - 01:49 PM
Lovely, nostalgic blog, Skye. Here in West Michigan the leaves have already begun to show a bit of color, the wind has a sharper edge, apples and peaches are ripening in nearby orchards and vegetable gardens are bountiful. Rain has fallen all morning, skies are gray and heavy, ready to release another downpour and I'm thinking the big pot of vegetable soup simmering on the stove will make a dandy dinner. I'm sad to see summer leave, but fall is a beautiful time here. I could do without winter and snow, though, :) Thanks for sharing your island summer with us through your delightful photos and blogs.
Posted by Loralee Lillibridge on 08/19/2014 - 03:08 PM
Beautifully written post, Skye. It reminded me of my favorite time of year, Autumn, with the return to school (in my day it meant plaid dresses and saddle shoes), the crisp bite in the air promising of the winter to come. It promised Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, all times of family celebration. Thank you for the memories.
Posted by Sharon Drane on 08/19/2014 - 03:49 PM
Wow! This brought back memories. I really miss my school years. I love Florida, but I truly miss the changing of the leaves, the smell of burning leaves and the first day of school when I got to wear my new clothes and my new shoes. I remember my spanking new notebook, just waiting for me to write in it. Perhaps that was the very beginning of me following my dream to be a writer. Thanks for reminding me of all that was good so long ago.
Posted by Elizabeth Sinclair on 08/19/2014 - 04:37 PM

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